Industrial 3D printers grow as personal printers hit rock bottom

While the personal printer market is dying a significant death, Industrial 3D printing is growing.

Beancounters at Context have been adding up some numbers and dividing by their shoe size and concluded that sales of industrial 3D printers continued to grow during 2018 while the personal printer market once again saw a decline.

According to the market intelligence firm, machine shipments of industrial models are projected to show a 27 per cent increase year-on-year, having already posted a strong 19 per cent growth during the first three quarters of 2018.

By contrast, sales figures for desktop 3D printers, which revealed a 13 per cent decline globally during Q1-Q3, are predicted to have continued in the fourth quarter, resulting in an overall reduction in worldwide shipments when compared with 2017.

The professional and design segments are also expected to reach single-digit positive growth for the year overall, despite single-digit declines in shipments year-to-date Q1-Q 3 2018.

Within the industrial 3D printer segment, polymer (plastic) and metal printer shipments saw robust growth during the first three quarters of the year.

Polymer model shipments rose by 12 per cent over the period thanks to steady increases in the US and Europe, as well as growth from manufacturers such as Carbon (up 65 per cent) and HP (up 31 per cent) – while significant domestic sales from China’s Union Tech also contributed significantly.

Industrial 3D metal printer brands such as GE Addictive, 3D Systems and EOS saw “nice growth”, while new, lower-priced models from brands such as Markforged “saw shipments soar in 2018”, Context said.

The market intelligence firm added that, while unit volumes are dominated by sub–$2,500 personal printers, more than 70 per cent of global printer revenues are generated by the industrial segment.

Context VP Chris Connery said: “The industrial segment saw good growth both in polymer 3D-printer shipments – up +31 per cent year-on-year – and metals 3D-printer shipments which were up a phenomenal  increase of 62 per cent for the quarter.”

Despite final global shipping figures for personal 3D printers in 2018 being an unprecedented 370,000 plus, the figure could represent a “single-to-double-digit drop” on the approximate 400,000 total clocked up in 2017.

Sales stalled due to limited crowd source project wins, the impact of tariffs on Chinese goods shipping to the US, shipment declines for market leaders, as well as a shift back to DIY/kit solutions which only hobbyists find attractive, he said.


Mitratech releases new SaaS products for lawyers

Mitratech has launched a new SaaS product for legal customers.

Mitratech’s Senior Vice President, Product Management, Chris Kraft launched TeamConnect Essentials solution in the UK and Europe at CLOC 2019 London Institute. This is an SaaS legal operations solution, designed for legal departments that are early in their transformation journey.

“Essentials was launched in the U.S. last year in October and is already gaining momentum.  Legal teams in the UK and Europe are no exception to the challenge of doing more with less, so it only makes sense to deliver a solution that will help reduce legal spend and save time. We’ve found that solutions like Essentials can result in saving £200,000 per year in estimated staff time for a legal department of 10, and can reduce overall legal spend by as much as ten per cent.”

Mitratech has recognised the growing demand from legal departments of all sizes for better, faster, less expensive business operations and has experienced continued growth, innovation and recognition as a result of addressing these industry needs.

Mitratech acquired ThinkSmart and TAP, the workflow automation solution, in April 2018.  TAP was integrated with the enterprise version of TeamConnect and TeamConnect Essentials using TAP ’s workflow automation engine to extend TeamConnect’s reach across the enterprise.

Mitratech added 80 new clients spanned five continents in 2018, and grew the total number of law firms using our e-Billing solutions by 25 per cent, with 10 per cent growth in total legal spend being processed through its e-Billing portal, Collaborati.

Mitratech CEO Jason Parkman said: “Growth in clients and activity across the industry continues to show that legal is rising,” said  “We have embraced the expanded importance and responsibility of legal for our clients and are committed to continued innovation to transform the legal industry. We’re proud of how these efforts continue to be recognised.”


Teamwork signs distribution agreement with Sigma

Sigma Software has scored an exclusive distribution agreement with Teamwork to distribute its products in the UK.

Teamwork, the provider of online productivity tools, has over 24,000 customers around the globe, including Disney, Spotify and PayPal. and are used by project, support, creative and product teams. Its solutions offer efficient project management, customer support and collaboration solutions for teams across a range of industries but notably professional services, healthcare and education.

Teamwork Projects, is a project management platform for professionals which allows them to deliver results and scale those results across teams and departments. It streamlines communication across multiple departments and stakeholders, centralises all project information and allows users to easily measure and report on the impact of essential work.

A Teamwork spokesperson said that adding the channel to their existing direct sales approach was the next natural step to reach more customers and help more teams be more efficient.

Jane Silk, Managing Director at Sigma says: “Teamwork is a great addition to our portfolio. It improves the productivity for a wide range of teams, and we’re excited to support them in building their channel approach and maximise channel sales.”

Ryan Mesches, Head of Partnerships at Teamwork comments: “We’re really looking forward to working with Sigma and building our channel approach. We chose them as our exclusive distributor as they have a great track record of bringing new, innovative solutions to the reseller market. Together we’ll make Teamwork a channel success.”

UK outsourcing market was rubbish thanks to Brexit

Beancounters at ISG said that the UK outsourcing market was rubbish last year.

Initially, there were brief signs of a recovery in the UK’s outsourcing market, but it was not enough for declines to continue in 2018.

The traditional outsourcing market in the UK fell 27 percent to £2.2 billion last year, despite a five percent increase in contract numbers.

Talent shortage is a major concern

Beancounters at analyst outfit Gartner say that corporate executives are now worried about IT talent shortages.

With projects like digital transformation, GDPR, cloud, AI on the books Gartner has found the lack of specialists has made talent a number one concern.

Gartner said for most of last year cloud computing was the main problem that customers were grappling with. But in Q4 of 2018,

Huawei CEO said he would shut the company before spying

Huawei’s CEO, Ren Zhengfei, bluntly told the press that he would shut his company rather than hand over data to the Chinese government.

For those who came in late, the US has been telling anyone who listens that Huawei is using its network equipment to spy on people.  No evidence has ever been supplied, but that has not stopped Huawei losing lucrative government contracts.

Oracle wants fewer and better cloud partners

Oracle will be going through its cloud partner friends list and culling those who it does not think are up to snuff.

Javier Torres, VP of EMEA channels said that the switch to cloud-based services would eventually result in “fewer and better” partners specialising in Oracle’s cloud services.

Speaking to the assembled throngs at an Oracle OpenWorld event in London, Torres said that although this may look like a threat to partners’ current business models, they should view it as an opening to win more business.

Fujitsu lowers risk for MSPs

Fujitsu offers its managed service providers a package which could reduce the risk of exposure to infrastructure costs.

The vendor’s upscale programme gives service providers options for renting infrastructure. The big idea is that it will lower the investment risk as some resellers transitioning to a managed service model.

The first model has been designed for a “growth scenario”, with instant access to capacity with a buffer that will meet immediate customer demands. The second model provides an early exit option on a 26 month rental contract, with payments remaining at a similar level each year.

Forrester predicts a tech services gig economy

Forrester analyst Jay McBain has been shuffling his tarot cards and predicts that the trusted advisor could be a thing of the past.

He thinks that marketplaces such as Amazon will accelerate the decline of resellers.

According to Forrester, 17 percent of B2B transactions will happen through marketplaces by 2020 and will threaten MSPs and channel providers who tout themselves as “one stop shop” trusted advisors.

60 percent of Microsoft’s commercial business is cloudy

Software King of the World Microsoft has more than 60 percent of its commercial business on the cloud.

Partner boss Joe Macri told the assembled throngs at the outfit’s London Partner Executive Summit that Vole was pushing cloud-first business models with some success.

Macri said that over half of Microsoft’s UK partners have now made cloud solutions the primary focus of their businesses.

Asolvi buys Purpose Software

Asolvi has acquired print management software outfit Purpose Software as part of a cunning plan to take control of the document management space.

The deal marks the third acquisition in three years for Norwegian firm Asolvi and is part of a strategy to grow the business outside the Nordics.

Asolvi CEO of Pål Rødseth (pictured) said the move followed the acquisitions of Tesseract and WS Software.

“Purpose Software has the leading position in the document management space in the UK while Asolvi occupies

Wiztek launches tech support for SMEs

Wiztek, a provider of online and mobile tech support services, is launching a cheaper tech support marketplace which promises to help small businesses, business travellers and the self-employed to address tech problems faster than ever before.

Wiztek will offer its on-demand service providing access to a community of experts all the time. Nusinesses can be in contact with a tech expert in under 30 seconds, consultations are free, and Wiztek claims it has a ‘no fix – no fee promise’.

NetActuate gets new London Datacentre through Volta Data Centres

NetActuate has launched services from a new London datacentre to offer increased infrastructure capacity.

President of NetActuate, Mark Price, said that the new centre will meet increasing demand for low latency network services and global infrastructure.

“This new location improves our ability to provide high performance, flexible, and reliable services to our customers”, he said.

Yomdel appoints Simon Taylor as marketing director.

Internet marketing outfit Yomdel has announced that Simon Taylor has been appointed as its new marketing director.

Taylor joins Yomdel from WDMP, where he was a board director and strategic marketing partner to big brands such as Hiscox, Tesco Bank, Wyevale Garden Centres, The Gym Group, and previously with Land Rover and Jaguar.

The news comes following a busy year

Business decision makers struggle with reaching digital maturity

Nearly two thirds of senior execs believe that evolving customer preferences as the primary driver of their digital transformation efforts, according to a study released today by Usabilla, the global “Voice of Customer (VoC) technology provider”.

In its “Digital Transformation: Age of The Digital Customer” report, Usabilla found that while many brands are still immature when it comes to executing on digital experience strategies, they understand the importance of delivering next-generation to drive business growth and remain competitive.